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Cumbrian relish firm secures jammy deal

Hawkshead Relish’s co-owners Mark and Maria Whitehead, who have now shipped 40,000 jars of strawberry daiquiri jam to Germany after securing a lucrative export sale

Hawkshead Relish, a jam and relish producer, has shipped 40,000 jars of strawberry daiquiri jam to Germany after securing the lucrative sale on an overseas trade mission.

The firm, based in Hawkshead in Cumbria, was founded in 2001 and currently exports around 10% of its output. Starting life as a boutique café, its products have won more than 60 Great Taste awards.

The deal comes as result of trade missions to Europe with support of the Food is GREAT campaign, where the company was introduced to other contacts in Sweden and France that have now become regular customers. It has also made small product changes to better target the tastes of particular countries, which has helped the firm to be successful in multiple markets across Europe including Sweden, Germany and the Czech Republic

This latest deal will see a major German wine club supplier sending out a customer offer of the Lake District’s finest preserves to all its top customers.

The Food is GREAT campaign is a cross-departmental initiative between the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department for International Trade (DIT) to showcase UK food and drink overseas and to help firms to export.

The business has always been focused on selling overseas, knowing that its quintessentially British products would appeal to consumers across the world.

Following its success in Europe, the business has now been empowered to look further afield. China will be a key focus because of a growing level of disposable income noted by the firm in the country’s expanding middle class.

Maria Whitehead, MBE, co-owner of Hawkshead Relish Co, said: “We started as a simple café in the middle of the Lake District but now thanks to exporting, we’re shipping our fundamentally British jams, chutneys and relishes to customers across Europe.

“With the help of Defra and DIT we are one step closer to trading to new markets and maximising our overseas growth potential.

“We’ve been working closely with our International Trade Adviser who has helped us enter new markets and ensure we are speaking to the right people. We’re excited about future opportunities both in Europe and further afield.”

Food and drink exports from the North West increased to £1.9bn in the year to June 2018 – a rise of 5.2% compared to the previous 12 months, and the trend looks set to continue

Paul Stowers, Head of Region, North West, DIT, said: “Hawkshead Relish has established itself as an innovative and high-quality producer from the heart of the Lake District with a reputation that clearly resonates internationally.

“We’d urge any local food and drink producers that want to explore some of the hundreds of exporting opportunities across the region to get in touch and find out how they can begin or grow their trade overseas.”

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